An environmental-based non-governmental organisation, Persatuan Aktivis Sahabat Alam (KUASA) organised a water-quality-management class on April 7 and 8 on Ipoh and the Kinta River. Twenty participants consisting of students and local environmentalists took part.
Maketab Mohamed, an expert in national water quality management and an environmentalist from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia was the guest speaker.
Society president, Hafizudin Nasarudin said that the class was part of KUASA’s monthly environmental class to educate the public, especially those keen on environmental management disciplines. The objective is to promote proactive actions in protecting nature.
Divided into in and out-of-class learning, the lessons included introduction to water quality, understanding the National Water Quality Standard and Water Quality Index and water parameters chemically, biologically and physically.
For field learning, participants were brought to the source, mid and end of Kinta River located at Ulu Kinta Forest Reserve, Kinta Riverfront Ipoh and Lahat Industrial Estate, respectively. They were exposed to in-situ river-quality-measurement techniques with dissolved oxygen, conductivity, salinity and water temperature as parameters.
From the three locations, it was found that the start of Kinta River is still free from pollution and is categorised as Class 2a (clean). However, at the mid-section the reading reached Class 3 (a little polluted) while at the end it was Class 4 (very polluted). The poor readings are attributed to human activities such as industries, farming and waste dumping.
The class ended with a video presentation showcasing one of the best-managed rivers in the world, a source of inspiration for Malaysians. Kamo River in Kyoto, Japan retains its Class 1 (very clean and clear) status and is a major tourist attraction today.
The environmental society will continue with its monthly class forthwith. Readers keen on participating can email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.